On a Rack or in a Barrel — Which Fits the Part?

At Electroplate-Rite, we offer both barrel and rack plating services, and customers often ask which of the two would be best for their project. To determine the best process, we consider the size and shape of the part, as well as the quantity and finish requirements.

Barrel plating: Barrel plating is an efficient, lower cost method of plating, and is barrel platingespecially suitable for parts that are small and durable, such as fasteners and small stampings. Parts are placed inside a barrel filled with electrolytic plating solutions, and then the barrel is rotated to give all parts a precise, uniform finish. What are the advantages? Barrel plating can accommodate a wide variety of shapes and sizes, as well as different metals and alloys. A high volume of parts can be processed quickly. Zinc, tin, nickel, brass, and copper plating for decorative or corrosion and wear resistant finishes are all easily accomplished with barrel plating.

Rack plating: For parts that are large, complex, or fragile, rack plating is the preferred choice. In this process, parts are arranged on coated metal racks and fixed using screws, rack platingspring fingers, or wires, based on their size, weight, and configuration. The racks are placed in a tank and kept stationary during plating operations. What are the advantages? Delicate parts are not subject to damage, intricate contours are evenly plated, and the finishes are generally higher quality than barrel plating. Rack plating is also an excellent method for producing selective deposits, and a higher quality of finish options are available than in barrel plating. Nickel and chrome are popular rack plated finishes, and we frequently use this process for parts used in the automotive, electronics, medical, and military industries.

Want more information? A quick consult with an expert at Electroplate-Rite will also steer you to the best process, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

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